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Howard M. Weiss

Seymour Adler and Ruth Kanfer

Howard Weiss, passed away at age 73 on February 20, 2023. Howard, a native Manhattanite, completed his undergraduate studies at George Washington University, where he met Jeanne DiLeo to whom he was married for 51 years. In 1975, Howard completed his PhD in New York University’s I-O Psychology Program under the guidance of Ray Katzell.

Upon graduation, Howard joined the I-O faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University where he continued his impactful work on social learning in organizations. He was a valued colleague to many and an inspiring mentor and teacher to generations of graduate students. After more than 3 decades at Purdue, including service as head of Psychological Sciences, Howard moved in 2012 to serve as chair of the School of Psychology at Georgia Institute of Technology.

In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Howard’s inclusive approach to the full spectrum of psychology led him to repeatedly introduce new research frameworks to the field of I-O psychology that continue to endure. His early work on learning led him to produce a widely read chapter on learning theory for the second edition of the Handbook of I-O Psychology. The work drew from both classical and modern learning perspectives and spelled out research and practice implications for I-O psychology. During the 1980s, Howard was significantly influenced by the personality–situation debate raging in social psychology. Howard forcefully argued for the value of taking a fresh look at personality, anticipating and, perhaps in part, stimulating the dramatic turn-around of I-O interest in personality that began in earnest during the 1990s. In the 1990s, Howard and Russ Cropanzano published affective events theory, a framework that sharply refocused I-O on the role of emotions in work life. Howard helped pioneer methods for capturing and analyzing real-time sampling of affective states over meaningful periods of time. Howard also articulated a more theoretically sound understanding of job satisfaction that reflected the development of the attitude construct in social psychology. During the 2000s, Howard became an advocate for a person-centered approach to understanding the experience of working. Drawing heavily on work by philosophers and anthropologists, he made a compelling, prescient case for I-O to develop a deeper understanding of the experience of working as construed by workers themselves.

Howard was also an active SIOPian. He was a SIOP Fellow, a founding member of the Society for Organizational Behavior, a SIOP representative to APA and APS, and member of numerous SIOP committees. He served on the editorial boards of virtually every leading journal in our field and mentored numerous students who became academic and practitioner leaders in our field.

Howard’s construal of his role as a psychological scholar who engaged in creative and deep thinking led him to have impact in multiple areas of I-O psychology. At the same time, he was an extraordinarily considerate, kind, and caring person, a loving husband, father, and friend. His quick wit, easy way with people, and inviting smile will be sorely missed.

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